accretion

noun
ac·​cre·​tion | \ ə-ˈkrē-shən How to pronounce accretion (audio) \

Definition of accretion

1 : the process of growth or enlargement by a gradual buildup: such as
a : increase by external addition or accumulation (as by adhesion of external parts or particles)
b : the increase of land by the action of natural forces
2 : a product of accretion especially : an extraneous addition accretions of grime

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Other Words from accretion

accretionary \ ə-​ˈkrē-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce accretionary (audio) , -​ˌne-​rē \ adjective

Did You Know?

The slow accretion of scientific knowledge over many centuries has turned into an avalanche in our time. Any accretion of ice on a grounded jet will result in takeoff delays because of the danger it poses. The land area of the Mississippi Delta increases every year from the accretion of soil washed down the Mississippi River, though the accretions happen so slowly that it's difficult to detect any increase at all. Accretion is often used in scientific writing; its usual verb form, accrue, is more often used in financial contexts ("This figure doesn't count the accrued interest on the investments").

Examples of accretion in a Sentence

rocks formed by the slow accretion of limestone There was an accretion of ice on the car's windshield.

Recent Examples on the Web

The pleasure of this novel lies in the answers Schine provides through her storytelling, the accretion of moments of chance and perspective that make the various resolutions seem almost inevitable. Susan Dominus, New York Times, "In Love With Language, but Not Necessarily With Each Other," 30 Aug. 2019 Government bureaucracies are notoriously resistant to change, layered with the accretion of rules, processes, union contracts, all contributing to a workplace culture. Mark Pazniokas, courant.com, "Who is Josh Geballe? The former IBM executive is looking to transform Connecticut state government ahead of a wave of retirements," 5 Aug. 2019 As the story goes, Mercury suffered a stupendous collision near the end of the period of planetary accretion, struck by a planetesimal so big that much of its crust was blasted into space. Kim Stanley Robinson, National Geographic, "Dear MESSENGER: How unmasking Mercury brought art to life," 22 Mar. 2019 The trope of borders connects the book’s numerous examples, anecdotes, memories and occasionally dense accretion of demographic, economic and sociological data. Gaiutra Bahadur, The New Republic, "The United States’ Debt to Immigrants," 25 June 2019 Robin is a sympathetic figure, and the steady accretion of minor events makes her wholly lifelike, but the cost of verisimilitude is a lot of passivity and dullness. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Friendships, Rivalries, Hierarchies & Reversals," 21 June 2019 One account of planet formation, called core accretion, holds that planets form slowly, coalescing around rocky cores, and in a region close to their stars. Quanta Magazine, "Stellar Disks Reveal How Planets Get Made," 21 May 2018 Many of the world’s great cities are ancient accretions, three-dimensional records of human behavior built up over centuries. Neil Shea, National Geographic, "Tokyo became a megacity by reinventing itself," 12 June 2019 Yet the accretion of meticulous observation endows the pitiless narrative tone with the authority of revelation, and O’Hara’s steady focus on the arc of Julian’s catastrophe never loosens its hold on the reader’s interest. Jamie James, WSJ, "‘John O’Hara: Four Novels of the 1930s’ Review: Big Fish in Small Towns," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accretion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accretion

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for accretion

borrowed from Latin accrētiōn-, accrētiō "increase," from accrē- (stem of accrēscere "to increase, be added") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at accrue

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Statistics for accretion

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accretion

The first known use of accretion was in 1615

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More Definitions for accretion

accretion

noun

Financial Definition of accretion

What It Is

Accretion is growth, typically in earnings, usually after an acquisition or other significant event. In the bond world, accretion refers to the capital gains earned on a bond purchased at a discount.

How It Works

Let's assume Company XYZ decides to buy Company ABC. Company XYZ's earnings per share before the acquisition are $0.15. Due to the acquisition, its earnings per share shoot up to $0.25, which makes the acquisition accretive to earnings by $0.10 per share.

In the bond world, let's assume that Jane Doe buys a 10-year bond issued by IBM. The bond has a face value of $1,000, but Jane buys it at a discount and pays $900. Over the next 10 years, Jane will see $100 of accretion on her bond ($1,000 - $900). Even though Jane doesn't actually receive the $100 until the bond matures, she must pay taxes on the accretion as it occurs over the 10 years.

Why It Matters

Accretion is a good thing for companies because it adds to the bottom line and thus increases shareholder value, which is the goal of every company. Of course, not all acquisitions turn out to be accretive, despite all the forecasts saying so. Accordingly, the manner in which an acquirer integrates a target into its operations, as well as the quality of the strategic fit between the two entities, are both key to ensuring that the expected gains materialize.

Any bond purchased at a discount accretes, and knowing to anticipate and calculate this accretion can make a big difference in an investor's tax situation.

Source: Investing Answers

accretive

adjective

Financial Definition of accretive

What It Is

To be accretive is to increase earnings per share.

How It Works

This term is most often used in the context of acquisitions. Let's assume Company XYZ has EPS of 25 cents this year. Next year, it acquires Company ABC. The cost of the acquisition in per share terms is 10 cents, but when Company XYZ combines the operations and profits of Company ABC in with its own, this adds 12 cents per share. Company XYZ comes out 2 cents per share ahead, meaning the acquisition is accretive to earnings.

Generally, an acquisition is accretive if the acquirer's price/earnings ratio is higher than the target's price/earnings ratio. Theoretically, the target in this case is a relative bargain for the acquirer.

Why It Matters

Accretion is a good thing for companies because it adds to the bottom line and thus increases shareholder value, which is the goal of every company. Of course, not all acquisitions turn out to be accretive, despite all the forecasts saying so. Accordingly, the manner in which an acquirer integrates a target into its operations is key to ensuring that the expected gains materialize.

Source: Investing Answers

accretion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of accretion

: a gradual process in which layers of a material are formed as small amounts are added over time
: something that has grown or accumulated slowly : a product or result of gradual growth

accretion

noun
ac·​cre·​tion | \ ə-ˈkrē-shən How to pronounce accretion (audio) \

Medical Definition of accretion

: the process of growth or enlargement especially : increase by external addition or accumulation (as by adhesion of external parts or particles) — compare apposition sense 1, intussusception sense 2

Other Words from accretion

accretionary \ -​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce accretionary (audio) \ adjective

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accretion

noun
ac·​cre·​tion | \ ə-ˈkrē-shən How to pronounce accretion (audio) \

Legal Definition of accretion

1 : the process or a result of growth or enlargement: as
a : the increase or extension of the boundaries of land or the consequent acquisition of land accruing to the owner by the gradual or imperceptible action of natural forces (as by the washing up of sand or soil from the sea or a river or by a gradual recession of the water from the usual watermark) also : accession in which the boundaries of land are enlarged by this process — compare avulsion, reliction
b : increase in the amount or extent of any kind of property or in the value of any property accretions to a trust fund resulting from the increase in value of…securities in which its corpus is investedIn re Estate of Gartenlaub, 244 P. 348 (1926)

Note: Accretion in value of the principal of a trust is generally not considered income.

c : enlargement of a bargaining unit by the addition of new employees
2 in the civil law of Louisiana : the passing to an heir or conjoint legatee of the right to accept a portion of a succession resulting from the failure of a coheir or colegatee to take his or her own share

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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